Cover photo for Michael J. Frena's Obituary
Michael J. Frena Profile Photo
1921 Michael 2009

Michael J. Frena

September 11, 1921 — April 25, 2009

Michael J. Frena ‘Mike', 87 years old, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Chubbuck, Idaho, from age-related causes.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 11, 1921 to John Frena and Helen (Slepak) Frena, he was only two years old when his family moved from Pittsburgh back to their farm near Kosice, Czechoslovakia. Upon turning seventeen, Mike had to decide whether to move to the United States, or give up his U.S. citizenship and remain in Czechoslovakia. His older brother and several relatives were in Pittsburgh, so Mike decided to follow. In Pittsburgh, he learned the language and began a forty-three year career at U.S. Steel Corporation as a steelworker (Mixer Helper.) His years at U.S. Steel included almost five years serving our country in the 1940's in World War II as a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp. Mike fought in the South Pacific where he was injured by shrapnel and temporarily blinded. He spent many months recovering in a military hospital in Farragut, Idaho. After regaining his eyesight, he briefly became a Marine recruiter in the Spokane, WA area where he learned of the wonderful fishing in the West.

After being honorably discharged in 1947, he returned to his job in Pittsburgh, and married Clara (Holzberger) Frena in 1958. They lived in Munhall, PA and had two children, Lydia and Michael, Jr., whose careers later brought them out West. Mike retired from U.S. Steel in the early 1980's and enjoyed many happy years of fishing and hunting in all his favorite places around Pittsburgh, especially Dunbar, PA. He would also meet friends and fellow retirees most morning for coffee at his favorite coffee shop in Homestead, PA to reminisce about their days in the steel mills and tell their latest fishing stories. In the spring of 2000, Mike and Clara moved from Pittsburgh to Idaho to be closer to their children and grandchildren. While in Idaho, Mike continued his fishing hobby and met many new friends. He especially enjoyed going for coffee every morning at the Mall where he could laugh and joke with his new friends.

Mike is survived by; his wife, Clara of Chubbuck; his two children, Lydia (George) Noble of Pocatello, Idaho, and Michael (Sharon) Frena Jr. of Pleasant View, UT; and two grandchildren, Christina and Steven Frena of Pleasant View, UT.

A special thank you goes out from our family to all of the wonderful emergency responders who were so kind and attentive in our time of need. Please know that your kindness and gentleness were recognized and very appreciated. And an additional thank you to those friends and neighbors who have offered their help and assistance.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Wilks Funeral Home 211 W. Chubbuck Road. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday April 30, 2009 at the Holy Spirit Catholic Community, St. Paul's Chapel on Chubbuck Road. Interment will be at the Inkom Cemetery in Inkom, Idaho, immediately following services.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to a charity of your choice in his honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael J. Frena, please visit our flower store.

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